ThereAreNoSunglasses

American Resistance To Empire

The Slow Road To Global Empire…The Elitists’ Scheme Plays-Out Methodically

From Bush To Trump: Culture, Economy, & War – The Pillars Of The New World Order

zero hedge

Submitted by Federico Pieraccini via Strategic-Culture.org,

Looking at US history over a fairly long period of time, it is easy to see the destructive path that has accompanied the expansion of the American empire over the last seventy years.

While World War II was still raging, US strategists were already planning their next steps in the international arena. The new target was immediately identified in the assault and the dismemberment of the Soviet empire. With the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Soviet economic model as an alternative to the capitalist system, the West found itself faced with what was defined as ‘the end of’ history, and proceeded to act accordingly.

The delicate transition from bipolarity, the world-order system based on the United States and the Soviet Union occupying opposing poles, to a unipolar world order with Washington as the only superpower, was entrusted to George H. W. Bush. The main purpose was to reassure with special care the former Soviet empire, even as the Soviet Union plunged into chaos and poverty while the West preyed on her resources.

Not surprisingly, the 90’s represented a phase of major economic growth for the United States. Predictably, on that occasion, the national elite favored the election of a president, Bill Clinton, who was more attentive to domestic issues over international affairs. The American financial oligarchy sought to consolidate their economic fortunes by expanding as far as possible the Western financial model, especially with new virgin territory in the former Soviet republics yet to be conquered and exploited.

With the disintegration of the USSR, the United States had a decade to aspire to the utopia of global hegemony. Reviewing with the passage of time the convulsive period of the 90’s, the goal seemed one step away, almost within reach.

The means of conquest and expansion of the American empire generally consist of three domains: cultural, economic and military. With the end of the Soviet empire, there was no alternative left for the American imperialist capitalist system. From the point of view of cultural expansion, Washington had now no adversaries and could focus on the destruction of other countries thanks to the globalization of products like McDonald’s and Coca Cola in every corner of the planet.

Of course the consequences of an enlargement of the sphere of cultural influence led to the increased power of the economic system. In this sense, Washington’s domination in international financial institutions complemented the imposition of the American way of life on other countries. Due to the mechanisms of austerity arising from trap-loans issued by the IMF or World Bank, countries in serious economic difficulties have ended up being swallowed up by debt.

Too many nations have experienced the tragedy of an economic collapse due to the obligation to privatize or grant to foreign corporations the rights to exploit their primary resources – the long arm of Western governments. Such an economic model has generated an epidemic of predatory finance and speculation, enormously strengthening the domination of the capitalist system on the rest of the globe. It is not a coincidence that in 1995 the WTO was founded, which imposed conditions of trade that strongly favored the European powers and the American empire.

In the event of a failure of cultural or economic pressure, Washington has often opted for real military aggression. An act of war is the most explicit form of abuse and is normally reserved for nations that refuse to comply with Atlanticist directions. In this sense, towards the end of Clinton’s term, the tone of the presidency shifted from a predilection towards focussing on the economy to aggression against sovereign nations. The first victim was Somalia, then in short order followed by the bombing of Serbia and the breakup of Yugoslavia. A relatively new phase in the recent history of the United States began, whereby economic and cultural expansion gave way to the reign of destructive bombs and missiles.

Although the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia was successful, the US image in the world began to be diminished, including its cultural leadership. Military action always produces consequences in the functioning of international relations, although history is often written by the winners.

By the end of the 90’s, although no country was in a practical position to oppose a cultural, economic or military resistance against Washington, the first thoughts of an alternative alliance to the Western bloc were beginning to emerge. The United States, while sniffing the danger, did not change direction, committed as it was to the idea of a ??cultural imposition, which became even more pronounced as a result of the expansion of the Internet as well as the effects of economic globalization.

The decision to shift gears, accelerating the triad of cultural, economic and military pressure, was eloquently expressed by the elites with the controversial victory of George W. Bush in 2000.

The successor to Bill Clinton had necessarily to be a president with a strong military angle, a high capacity to expand the capitalist globalization model, and a huge sense of patriotism to spread American propaganda of every possible cultural form in every corner of the planet. The ultimate goal was to surround the Heartland (China + Russia + Eurasia generally) as was expressed by MacKinder, to control their resources. Thus began an uncertain mission, requiring the election of a president friendly to the project of a unipolar New World Order created by the elite.

In the following years, thanks to the September 11, 2001, Washington had a perfect way to expand its wars and terror to every corner of the world. Economic aggression experienced a further boost with the creation of the EURO, a maximal expression in the financial domain. The Internet and increasing growth of interconnectivity ended up accelerating globalization, centralizing even more decision-making power into a few hands. The sum of these factors made it possible to fruitfully continue the devastating work of evangelization according to the Western economic model.

Yet despite the apparent economic and cultural expansion of the United States, as well as an incessant war operation in Iraq in 2003 and Afghanistan in 2001, the dream of a triumphant march towards global hegemony began to suffer the first setbacks.

The economic or cultural factor began to no longer be sufficient, requiring the opting of an armed solution as in Afghanistan and Iraq, demonstrating in practice how the American empire was serious about expanding eastwards, expanding its ambitions and influence. In this cultural, economic and military march, Washington often ignored or underestimated the consequences of its actions thanks to its unique position as the world superpower. This is a strategic mistake that will cost the United States and its utopian dreams of global domination.

However, the earliest forms of Eurasian resistance already began to emerge in the mid 90’s, first with the creation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in 1996 and then with the Eurasian Economic Union in 2000 (the first discussions began in 1994), two factors that changed the course of history several years later.

The Republic of China, thanks to the pressure resulting from globalization, became the global farm, accumulating wealth and rapidly becoming over the coming fifteen years the first global economic power. The Russian Federation, on the other hand, after a decade of hunger and hardship, elected Putin, a strongman emanating from the intense nationalistic view. Thanks to a protectionist attitude towards the economy and a strong determination to reinvigorate the military role of Russia, in the space of 15 years he brought Moscow to be global power status.

In the end, the Bush era, degraded by destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan, has brought more harm than good in Washington. Bush laid the foundation for a process of unification of the opposing powers to American imperialism and forced them into each other’s’ arms (BRICS) to mount an effective counter to the cultural, economic and military action of the euro-American elites.

As well as unifying the enemies of Washington, the American home front was beginning to show signs of unrest, both economically and militarily. The two wars deeply shook Western public opinion, forcing the elite to propose a candidate representing rupture who was focused on internal needs. Obama has been the perfect representation of this intent.

Elected with less warlike intentions of Bush and the clear need to reform a financial system that was out of control, he has failed in both cases, dragging the world into an unending conflict while giving high finance absolute control over the levers of economic power. The Fed and the private banks have increased their power enormously under Obama, coming to determine directly the democratic order of even allied nations with mechanisms such as spread or the ability to print money at zero interest. Instead of regulating the perverse financial mechanisms, their influence has increased. Instead of trying to mediate with hostile nations, Obama embarked on a mission of nation-building, regime change and color revolutions, using the whole arsenal of soft-power at his disposal. these were of course intentional and deliberate choices.

Obama was forced to adopt new destabilization techniques to obscure their purpose in the eyes of the population without losing sight of the objectives of the elites established in the early 90’s. Drones, economic manipulation, TTIP, TTP, special forces, color revolutions, the Arab Spring, sanctions and cyber warfare – these have become the Obama administration’s modus operandi.

The key factor remains the possibility of denying direct involvement in wars harmful to the image of the United States and its continuing economic, cultural and military expansion. From here these techniques can be seen in 2010 in the Middle East and North Africa, the spread of speculation in some European countries, and drone attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. This is not to mention the hundreds of troops belonging to special forces spread over five continents and the coup financed and organized by the US government organs in Ukraine.

The Obama administration has been accelerating global hegemony by swapping tools, but the effects and causes have remained the same as, or even worse than, previous administrations.

Meanwhile, the economic unions, cultural and military between the three nations pioneer of anti-imperialism, Iran, China and Russia, have accelerated their strategic alignment as an instrument of deterrence against advancing American hegemony.

The war in Syria, combined with the worsening of the crisis with Russia, tensions with China in the South China Sea, and the aggressive posture toward Iran’s orbit of Shiite nations, have accelerated the erosion of American power. The main causes are the failed cultural model imposed through the Arab Spring; the economic coup in Ukraine (the nation is on the brink of bankruptcy); and the military impossibility of direct intervention in Syria. The United States, in the space of a decade, has found itself facing a reality no longer compatible with the plan of global hegemony.

The Trump victory fits into this decadent scenario. Are we facing a true revolutionary who intends to rid forever global hegemonic aims, or is he simply a well-thought-out pause, created by the elites to revitalize the economy, arrest the internal discontent in the country, and rebuild the army to resume the march toward global hegemony in 2020?

This is the typical million-dollar question that I tried to give an answer to in a previous article. At the moment, it is difficult to interpret and predict which path will be taken by the elected president. Both have many arguments to support them and can easily be disputed or accepted. Only time will tell if the reality around us is already now placed in a multipolar world order, or if we are in a convulsive transition phase in which the United States remains anchored to the role of global power hoping to preserve the ‘unipolar moment’ it began in 1989.

America No Longer Calls the Shots

Ralph Alswang Ralph Alswang

The End of the Western Consensus

international policy

For the last 70 years, since the end of World War II, the West shared a unified ethos on where it stood. Anchored by the United States, Western Europe and the Anglo diaspora states of Australia, Canada and New Zealand, the West was defined by a powerful political consensus that largely came to be defined by the promotion of democracy, globalization, free trade, the reduction of political and economic barriers, social liberalization and immigration.

This consensus fundamentally changed the world, dramatically increasing global trade and investment, increasing protection for the rights of minorities and LGBT, advancement of women’s rights and increased immigration into Western societies. The West appeared as a unified bloc, brimming with endless confidence in its own moral superiority and destiny, often displaying self-righteous indignation at governments and cultures that did not share its values.

During the Cold War, the West and many of its proxy allies in the developing world, stood steadfast against the revolutionary zeal of the Communist world which promoted national liberation intertwined with international solidarity, command economies, social justice and one party authoritarianism. This paradigm was destroyed with the fall of the Iron Curtain, and the subsequent opening of China.

Since the 1990s, the Western consensus has dominated the world. Internationally, it has pursued a world increasingly connected by free trade, the championing of democracy and globalization. Domestically, Western nations promoted tolerance for racial, religious and sexual minorities, multiculturalism and liberal intellectualism. Western nations championed a sense of inclusive civic national identities, rejecting ethno-nationalism.

The Trump Coup

There is an often repeated expression that is used ironically, “May you live in interesting times.” We certainly do today. What started as a crack in the Western consensus with Brexit, has now grown into a gaping hole with the unexpected election of Donald Trump.

For the first time in nearly three generations, the Western consensus is facing a formidable threat to its legitimacy. Campaigning on a platform that destroyed all conventions of political correctness, often veering into racist and misogynistic themes, deeply hostile to free trade, friendly to Russia and critical of our alliance commitments and neoconservative militarism, Trump instituted a hostile takeover of the Republican Party.

However, Trump is no traditional Republican. His coup of the party allowed him to successfully use its national platform as a vehicle to win the presidency, even as the party establishment widely rejected his candidacy. Against all odds, he was victorious and shock and unease soon set in throughout the world.

The United States will now have an incoming president with a worldview, nationalistic and populist, often diametrically opposed to the Western consensus. Trump’s controversial and trusted strategist, Stephen Bannon, has openly expressed deep resentment against the Republican establishment, particularly figures such as Paul Ryan. He has made clear the intention of the Trump camp to start a new political movement to replace the traditional Republican Party now under their command.

Neoliberal Cosmopolitans vs. Populist Right

What is fast transpiring is the dawn of a new political era where the old paradigm pitching liberal versus conservative, no longer applies. That old rivalry had existed, with contrasting ways of governance, but often within the same worldview, that of a belief in free trade, civic nationalism and Western moral supremacy. The Democrats and the Republicans both upheld and supported our government’s support and leadership in the Western consensus, echoing the values that we had thought defined the West. Now, in the United States and Britain, arguably the two most important cultural anchors of the West, we have witnessed the rise of leaders, and their movements, who are increasingly rejecting those values.

The old political paradigm is quickly being replaced before our own eyes. One that pitches the neoliberal establishment, still dominant among the cosmopolitan elites of the West, versus a new wave of right wing populist nationalist movements that are hostile to immigration, free trade and favor increasingly non-interventionist foreign policies and are far more concerned with domestic issues and often with ethno-nationalist undertones.

The new populism has moved at a speed and breadth unforeseen in modern history. Much of this has to do with the power of the internet and the ability to spread once marginalized ideologies widely, winning hearts and minds away from the mainstream media outlets which once had a near monopoly on public discourse and thoughts. From websites such as Breitbart to the Alex Jones’ Youtube Infowars channel, once marginal groups such as the alt-right, have been able to hitch themselves upon Trump’s rise and have moved themselves into the mainstream.

The marketplace of ideas, once dominated by large corporations deeply vested in the establishment, is now quickly being democratized by the power of the internet. Barriers of entry have been radically lowered, allowing low cost platforms to challenge the message of the mainstream media, and often times, quite effectively. The internet now hosts many alternative political universes that go unnoticed by mainstream society, but have proven to be extremely powerful in shaping worldviews of growing subcultures that are now challenging the accepted narrative.

End of Western Conformity

Current trends, where leading states of the West are turning towards leaders who increasingly reject the neoliberal value system, suggest that the façade of a united West may be fast eroding. With leaders who are refusing to accept the traditional agenda, the West will cease to behave so much as a singular actor, and simply become a number of independent actors, each with its own agenda.

The West will still be bound by a deep set of cultural ties and similarities, but the motivations and stances that individual states take may largely depend on the orientation of their elected leadership at any given time. What this means is that we are entering a far more unpredictable and potentially chaotic world.

The new political fault lines developing in the United States are still unclear. With the movement we have seen mobilized by the Bernie Sanders campaign and the subsequent anti-Trump protests, we may see the neoliberal establishment challenged not only by a Trump led populist right, but also by a Sanders like populist left. Both grass roots movements fed by powerful and savvy social media driven platforms challenging the status quo.

As Blue State America openly challenges and disobeys the policies of the Trump administration and a government where Republicans dominate all three branches, a frustrated anti-Trump movement may find its voice in an alternative populist leftist “alt-left” movement with a worldview that champions the liberal values of Blue America in strident opposition to the bigotry of the alt-right, but rejecting the influence of Wall Street on Washington that has been groomed under the Neoliberals, while pushing aggressive programs for universal healthcare and education to bolster the middle class and the poor.

As the Neoliberal domination of the West begins to erode, we may see the rise of Western governments who possess worldviews diametrically opposed to one another. Governments drawn from what were formerly the Left or Right fringes of society may take over. Western nations may eventually start to mirror non-Western nations more than one another. For example, Trump already shares a closer style and worldview with leaders such as Russia’s Putin or the Phillipines’ Duterte, than he does with the bulk of the European elite.

What this means is that the uniqueness of the “West” may fade into a world with no dominant political or global paradigm aside from nationalism reigning supreme.

The Strength of Neoliberal Institutions

With the state of angst and the rapid pace of change unfolding as the Trump administration prepares to take office, it is too easy to begin writing the obituary for the global order. However, this is likely premature as the Neoliberal institutions and worldview that have dominated the Western world are still entrenched powerfully in our political and business world. Many of the themes of the alt-right, particularly the extreme racism and misogyny common in their cyberspace, are still too distasteful to be stomached by the mainstream public. While the socialist policies of the alt-left will likely be viewed with great suspicion.

However, with the rise of alternative movements who are increasingly savvy enough to harness the power of the internet, it is clear the Neoliberal monopoly will be facing unprecedented challenges to its entrenched dominance from both sides. These challenges may create significant diversity among Western nations in terms of foreign, trade, immigration policies, and even in the value of human rights.

The Western consensus may be able to withstand the momentary victories of a Trump or a Sanders, but the movements they represent have been unleashed and are now duking it out with the entrenched establishment in the boxing arena of electoral politics. That reality will not be reversed, they have entered the public consciousness and are here to stay, and the polarization we have witnessed with this divisive election may only widen in the years to come. What is clear, is that we do live in interesting times.

Pakistan Not To Blame For Kashmir Unrest, Claims Omar Abdullah, Former Chief Minister

omar-abdullah
Omar Abdullah Sparks Controversy Again, Gives A Clean Chit To Pakistan

times-now

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister today gave a clean chit to Pakistan, saying that it cannot be blamed for the unrest in the Kashmir Valley, and instead, blamed the Centre for being “ignorant” of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Don’t be under the false impression that the unrest you are seeing in Kashmir has been ignited by Pakistan. We found that some people at the Centre willingly or unwillingly wanted to keep themselves ignorant about the situation in Kashmir. It was easy for them to blame Pakistan,” he said today while addressing the media.

Omar added that it was “our mistakes” that have led to the situation in Kashmir.

“We told the Centre to act on the promises that it has made to Jammu and Kashmir. We kept trying to make them understand that the unrest in Kashmir has not been created by Pakistan. It is the result of our mistakes,” he said.

Omar Adbdullah’s statements come even after it has been proved that Jamat-ud-Dawa Chief, Hafiz Saeed – who is said to be based in Pakistan- has been pushing in money from across the border to fund the unrest in the valley. (Read: MHA Busts Saeed Finance Module)

This is the third controversial statement coming from the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister in the past one week.

On Thursday, Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah alleged that statements made by Union Ministers after the surgical strikes have lead to an increase in Pakistan backed terror attacks.

Omar Abdullah had also suggested holding a dialogue with Pakistan to reduce tension between the two countries.

Remembering the Real Reagan–(rerun)

[SEE: Trump and the Neocon Playbook–Trump Is the Reincarnation of Reagan]

//player.theplatform.com/p/NnzsPC/widget/select/media/MmIlgrzGuODh

https://poptop12.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/dat20579.jpg?w=869The Real Ronald Reagan, as Portrayed by Phil Hartman

Reagan’s Secret Legacy

Jan 28, 2011

Peter Chamberlin

On this, the one-hundredth birthday of Ronald Reagan, the Reagan worshippers are coming out of the woodwork. It seems that the self-appointed leaders of the “Tempest in the Teapot” party (or whatever they call themselves), even Obama himself, are trying to ride Reagan’s fame to new political heights. That’s good, because Reagan had a serious weakness, his notoriety associated with his extremist beliefs, which we should all take time to remember today.

Ronald Reagan did something very bad to this country; he planted a poisonous seed that has now put forth fully ripened fruit, in our own era, fruit which makes the heart cold and intoxicates the minds, filling them with visions of untold wealth and power. Reagan imbibed deeply on his own poison, giving substance to his own hallucinatory visions, which he shared with his followers. It his delusional military and economic theories that are directly responsible for the dual crises that threaten the civilized world today. His nonsensical faith-based “supply-side economics” theory (which George Bush described as “voodoo economics”) set loose the dangerous speculative economics that have plagued us, giving credence to the “borrow our way to prosperity” theories that have imperiled the world economy.

His was a “faith-based” policy, in that it required a leap of blind faith in Reagan’s promises, that the investor class would reinvest the enormous profits Reagan was sending their way, back into the American economy. Instead, they pocketed the cash, sending much of it to offshore bank accounts, or into building new factories in “Third World” countries, instead of modernizing American production lines. In short, Reagan promised that if we basically trusted his plan his rich friends would turn the American economy around, after he basically handed them the keys to the national treasury.

Deregulation took the lid off. In effect, financial institutions were urged to adapt the same policies used by the CIA over the years to raise cash for covert operations. Risky investments were encouraged, any investments, so long as there was some form of cash flowing or other capital to be used as new collateral for new loans, to increase investment pools for new ventures. Reagan unleashed a massive pyramid scheme, to use as a weapon to economically bludgeon Russia and its allies. In the end, all of us have come to feel the hard end of the economic weapon.

His crazy ideas of hiring militants to fight our enemies for us (so that the American military and the CIA might disavow the contracts) have lived on, eventually coming back to bite us all on the ass, in today’s “war on terrorism.” The war in Afghanistan, then Iraq, soon in Pakistan as well, are all clean-up operations, trying to eliminate some of the same militant groups which we have created to fight for us in the past.

The “Reagan revolutionaries,” who came to be known as the “neocons,” were masters in the science of propaganda, having spent their academic years studying European fascism (under the pretense of finding preventive measures with which to defend against new fascism). The key to effective propaganda is the ability to say one thing publicly and mean the exact opposite of that thing, revealing the truth only to a select group of insiders. The “neoconservatives” successfully took over the “conservative movement by using this technique. Both groups used the same words and phrases, but the neocons group lied about their definitions, using those words instead, as code words, understandable only to the elite, who knew that when Reagan spoke of reining-in the multinational corporations, he really intended to empower them. When he spoke of deregulation and privatization as being keys to unlocking the American economy, the insiders knew that only the wealthy few would be deregulated and that privatization would not improve anyone’s lives, other than the American oligarchs who would be handed vast segments of federal programs to cannibalize for their own profits, just like Russia’s oligarchs.

Which of Reagan’s many delusional values should Americans really want to “reconnect with”? The “patriotism” reflected in his “crusade for democracy,” which turned-out to be a front for international destabilization and limited warfare operations. His National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has been behind every “colored revolution” in former Soviet space. The attempts by these funded groups to foment democratic revolutions in Iran, Tunisia and Egypt have manipulated growing discontent, to agitate the masses and initiate popular reactions against America’s favorite puppets, puppets which have been targeted by the NED revolutionaries for regime change. The conceit that motivates Obama’s minions to destabilize the Middle East and Africa, as well as Central Asia, to further American plans for world control is a threat to the entire world.

The events now unfolding across North Africa are another American psy-op gone public (SEE: Egypt protests: America’s secret backing for rebel leaders behind uprising ), just like the recent Kyrgyz uprisings and the previous Future Movement attempts to ignite an anti-Hezbollah civil war in Lebanon. Having failed in its previous attempts to takeover the former Soviet governments through the so-called “colored revolutions,” and in its attempts in former Soviet Georgia to ignite a war against Russia, the American “deep state” has returned to its scheme to use democratic revolution to force its will upon the world.

Reagan’s team peddled a synthetic version of “democratic-revolution,” creating popular revolutions against targeted regimes, that were really not really “of the people,” even though they were obviously “by the people.” The legions of government scientists and psychologists had finally figured-out how to magnify negative emotions and to manipulate behavior, through a combination of bribery, threats and appeals to false ideals, so that the people themselves could be turned into guided weapons, much like the psychology of a suicide bomber. Reagan’s “Project Democracy” was a form of low-level warfare, capable of “weaponizing” the masses and directing them at their own governments.

Everyday people by the hundreds of thousands have been deceived by sincere-sounding agitators into putting their lives at risk in the streets, unleashing their anger in reaction to provocation. A real revolution “of the People” does not have an already formed “unity government” waiting in the wings, while agitators steer the “people power” revolution in the streets.

Every national politician since Reagan, of either party, has supported the chain of lies that the Reagan years have strengthened this country. All news media since the very beginning have promoted this idea, maintaining the fiction that this country has not been in regression, both economically and militarily, ever since Reagan unleashed his revolution. The sad truth is, that this country will continue its deadly downhill slide until we all realize just how badly we have been lied to by all of our leaders and take our own actions to correct the course that they have set us upon. Until we bravely face the truth about the total lack of truth in all of our national leaders and stand-up to them all, America is doomed.

Until we break free from this dumbed-down alternative America that Reagan has locked us into, by actually overthrowing the system that keeps empowering the cut-throats and the liars, we will never know true American greatness. Until we face the truth about who we are and understand why most of the world now hates us as the “evil empire” (a complete reversal of roles from Reagan’s world), we will not understand or see the path to national salvation which still lies open before us. Until the day that we take the future away from people like Obama and Palin, and Bush and Reagan, and Clinton and Gore, Bush and Cheney, we will truly have no future. Until we face the facts about just how wrong our leaders have all been and see the intricate blanket of lies used to cover their crimes, we will be unable to do anything to save ourselves.

Sitting idly by, while the Obama government endangers the roots of civilization itself, squandering any remaining investment potential in a failing gambit to save the American system of organized robbery and government by extortion, is not an option. If Obama is going to continue Reagan’s quest to overthrow the world order, forcing global “regime change,” then we will have no other choice but to defeat him and disrupt the great plan. If revolution is America’s last remaining exportable product, then it must also be revolution here at home.

There are two visions or ideologies that are propelling this country into the future, one of these visions promotes the idea that all of our counterfeit government leaders are instead, great men, with Ronald Reagan being venerated as perhaps among the greatest of all men. This political vision, or ideology, which has been carefully crafted by psychological warfare experts for our entertainment and control, glorifies what America has done to the world over the past thirty years, under the guise of sowing the seeds of Democracy and protecting them. This Reagan-worshipping cult of personality is content with Reagan’s original plan for a two-tiered America (kept in power by endless military adventurism), divided very unequally between a small, powerful, ruling elite and their mercenary force of bureaucratic technocrats, and the rest of us.

Then there is America’s alternative vision, one shared by a rapidly growing grass-roots movement, which focuses upon America’s secret military history. This vision, shared by much of the rest of the human race considers America’s string of “limited wars” to be a series of war crimes, military acts of aggression, which are more accurately defined as terrorism than as legitimate military action, since all of the mercenary forces hired or tricked into fighting for us have been “non-military combatants” (thugs, criminals and jihadists). In reality, America’s secret wars were dishonorable adventurism that real patriots or a heroic warrior class would not be associated with.

America’s alternative news services exist to post reports about America’s secret news, reports on countless little wars of aggression, that have been waged upon both friends and foes alike. Until America produces a generation of American leaders who are both willing to take-on the real debate about the American deep state at the state or national level and run on an anti-war-crime platform, then nothing will get better.

Reagan was not a “noble warrior,” riding on a white horse, come to save America. Nay, he was the slayer of America, riding a pale horse, come to finish-off what previous Empire-builders had started. Despite Reagan’s politically charged rhetoric, we know that the Empire he seduced us into helping him build was not American at all, except for a few of the multinational corporations with home offices in New York.

Reagan’s revolution was a counterfeit revolution, taking America in a direction the Founding Fathers never intended. History has been hijacked by an international cartel, intent upon creating a Fascist global government, subservient to the dictates of the cartel. Reagan and all those who come after him have merely been puppets of that international cartel. The sooner we all face that fact the sooner we begin a real resistance movement here in our homeland. Honoring Reagan or the forces he has set into motion is a disservice to the past.

peter.chamberlin@hotmail.com

The Orwellian War On Free Thought and Free Speech

The Orwellian War on Skepticism

Special Report: Official Washington’s rush into an Orwellian future is well underway as political and media bigwigs move to silence Internet voices of independence and dissent, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Under the cover of battling “fake news,” the mainstream U.S. news media and officialdom are taking aim at journalistic skepticism when it is directed at the pronouncements of the U.S. government and its allies.

One might have hoped that the alarm about “fake news” would remind major U.S. news outlets, such as The Washington Post and The New York Times, about the value of journalistic skepticism. However, instead, it seems to have done the opposite.

Author George Orwell.Author George Orwell.

Author George Orwell.

The idea of questioning the claims by the West’s officialdom now brings calumny down upon the heads of those who dare do it. “Truth” is being redefined as whatever the U.S. government, NATO and other Western interests say is true. Disagreement with the West’s “group thinks,” no matter how fact-based the dissent is, becomes “fake news.”

So, we have the case of Washington Post columnist David Ignatius having a starry-eyed interview with Richard Stengel, the State Department’s Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy, the principal arm of U.S. government propaganda.

Entitled “The truth is losing,” the column laments that the official narratives as deigned by the State Department and The Washington Post are losing traction with Americans and the world’s public.

Stengel, a former managing editor at Time magazine, seems to take aim at Russia’s RT network’s slogan, “question more,” as some sinister message seeking to inject cynicism toward the West’s official narratives.

“They’re not trying to say that their version of events is the true one. They’re saying: ‘Everybody’s lying! Nobody’s telling you the truth!’,” Stengel said. “They don’t have a candidate, per se. But they want to undermine faith in democracy, faith in the West.”

No Evidence

Typical of these recent mainstream tirades about this vague Russian menace, Ignatius’s column doesn’t provide any specifics regarding how RT and other Russian media outlets are carrying out this assault on the purity of Western information. It’s enough to just toss around pejorative phrases supporting an Orwellian solution, which is to stamp out or marginalize alternative and independent journalism, not just Russian.

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. (Photo credit: Aude)Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. (Photo credit: Aude)

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. (Photo credit: Aude)

Ignatius writes: “Stengel poses an urgent question for journalists, technologists and, more broadly, everyone living in free societies or aspiring to do so. How do we protect the essential resource of democracy — the truth — from the toxin of lies that surrounds it? It’s like a virus or food poisoning. It needs to be controlled. But how?

“Stengel argues that the U.S. government should sometimes protect citizens by exposing ‘weaponized information, false information’ that is polluting the ecosystem. But ultimately, the defense of truth must be independent of a government that many people mistrust. ‘There are inherent dangers in having the government be the verifier of last resort,’ he argues.”

By the way, Stengel is not the fount of truth-telling, as he and Ignatius like to pretend. Early in the Ukraine crisis, Stengel delivered a rant against RT that was full of inaccuracies or what you might call “fake news.”

Yet, what Stengel and various mainstream media outlets appear to be arguing for is the creation of a “Ministry of Truth” managed by mainstream U.S. media outlets and enforced by Google, Facebook and other technology platforms.

In other words, once these supposedly responsible outlets decide what the “truth” is, then questioning that narrative will earn you “virtual” expulsion from the marketplace of ideas, possibly eliminated via algorithms of major search engines or marked with a special app to warn readers not to believe what you say, a sort of yellow Star of David for the Internet age.

And then there’s the possibility of more direct (and old-fashioned) government enforcement by launching FBI investigations into media outlets that won’t toe the official line. (All of these “solutions” have been advocated in recent weeks.)

On the other hand, if you do toe the official line that comes from Stengel’s public diplomacy shop, you stand to get rewarded with government financial support. Stengel disclosed in his interview with Ignatius that his office funds “investigative” journalism projects.

“How should citizens who want a fact-based world combat this assault on truth?” Ignatius asks, adding: “Stengel has approved State Department programs that teach investigative reporting and empower truth-tellers.”

Buying Propaganda

After reading Ignatius’s column on Wednesday, I submitted a question to the State Department asking for details on this “journalism” and “truth-telling” funding that is coming from the U.S. government’s top propaganda shop, but I have not received an answer.

The Washington Post building in downtown Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Washington Post)The Washington Post building in downtown Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Washington Post)

The Washington Post building in downtown Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Washington Post)

But we do know that the U.S. government has been investing tens of millions of dollars in various media programs to undergird Washington’s desired narratives.

For instance, in May 2015, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) issued a fact sheet summarizing its work financing friendly journalists around the world, including “journalism education, media business development, capacity building for supportive institutions, and strengthening legal-regulatory environments for free media.”

USAID estimated its budget for “media strengthening programs in over 30 countries” at $40 million annually, including aiding “independent media organizations and bloggers in over a dozen countries,” In Ukraine before the 2014 coup ousting elected President Viktor Yanukovych and installing a fiercely anti-Russian and U.S.-backed regime, USAID offered training in “mobile phone and website security,” skills that would have been quite helpful to the coup plotters.

USAID, working with currency speculator George Soros’s Open Society, also has funded the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, which engages in “investigative journalism” that usually goes after governments that have fallen into disfavor with the United States and then are singled out for accusations of corruption. The USAID-funded OCCRP collaborates with Bellingcat, an online investigative website founded by blogger Eliot Higgins.

Higgins has spread misinformation on the Internet, including discredited claims implicating the Syrian government in the sarin attack in 2013 and directing an Australian TV news crew to what appeared to be the wrong location for a video of a BUK anti-aircraft battery as it supposedly made its getaway to Russia after the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014.

Despite his dubious record of accuracy, Higgins has gained mainstream acclaim, in part, because his “findings” always match up with the propaganda theme that the U.S. government and its Western allies are peddling. Higgins is now associated with the Atlantic Council, a pro-NATO think tank which is partially funded by the U.S. State Department.

Beyond funding from the State Department and USAID, tens of millions of dollars more are flowing through the U.S.-government-funded National Endowment for Democracy, which was started in 1983 under the guiding hand of CIA Director William Casey.

NED became a slush fund to help finance what became known, inside the Reagan administration, as “perception management,” the art of controlling the perceptions of domestic and foreign populations.

The Emergence of StratCom

Last year, as the New Cold War heated up, NATO created the Strategic Communications Command in Latvia to further wage information warfare against Russia and individuals who were contesting the West’s narratives.

NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

As veteran war correspondent Don North reported in 2015 regarding this new StratCom, “the U.S. government has come to view the control and manipulation of information as a ‘soft power’ weapon, merging psychological operations, propaganda and public affairs under the catch phrase ‘strategic communications.’

“This attitude has led to treating psy-ops — manipulative techniques for influencing a target population’s state of mind and surreptitiously shaping people’s perceptions — as just a normal part of U.S. and NATO’s information policy.”

Now, the European Parliament and the U.S. Congress are moving to up the ante, passing new legislation to escalate “information warfare.”

On Wednesday, U.S. congressional negotiators approved $160 million to combat what they deem foreign propaganda and the alleged Russian campaign to spread “fake news.” The measure is part of the National Defense Authorization Act and gives the State Department the power to identify “propaganda” and counter it.

This bipartisan stampede into an Orwellian future for the American people and the world’s population follows a shoddily sourced Washington Post article that relied on a new anonymous group that identified some 200 Internet sites, including some of the most prominent American independent sources of news, as part of a Russian propaganda network.

Typical of this new McCarthyism, the report lacked evidence that any such network actually exists but instead targeted cases where American journalists expressed skepticism about claims from Western officialdom.

Consortiumnews.com was included on the list apparently because we have critically analyzed some of the claims and allegations regarding the crises in Syria and Ukraine, rather than simply accept the dominant Western “group thinks.”

Also on the “black list” were such quality journalism sites as Counterpunch, Truth-out, Truthdig, Naked Capitalism and ZeroHedge along with many political sites ranging across the ideological spectrum.

The Fake-News Express

Normally such an unfounded conspiracy theory would be ignored, but – because The Washington Post treated the incredible allegations as credible – the smear has taken on a life of its own, reprised by cable networks and republished by major newspapers.

MSNBC's "Hardball" host Chris Matthews

MSNBC’s “Hardball” host Chris Matthews

But the unpleasant truth is that the mainstream U.S. news media is now engaged in its own fake-news campaign about “fake news.” It’s publishing bogus claims invented by a disreputable and secretive outfit that just recently popped up on the Internet. If that isn’t “fake news,” I don’t know what is.

Yet, despite the Post’s clear violations of normal journalistic practices, surely, no one there will pay a price, anymore than there was accountability for the Post reporting as flat fact that Iraq was hiding WMD in 2002-2003. Fred Hiatt, the editorial-page editor most responsible for that catastrophic “group think,” is still in the same job today.

Two nights ago, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews featured the spurious Washington Post article in a segment that – like similar rehashes –didn’t bother to get responses from the journalists being slandered.

I found that ironic since Matthews repeatedly scolds journalists for their failure to look skeptically at U.S. government claims about Iraq possessing WMD as justification for the disastrous Iraq War. However, now Matthews joins in smearing journalists who have applied skepticism to U.S. and Western propaganda claims about Syria and/or Ukraine.

While the U.S. Congress and the European Parliament begin to take action to shut down or isolate dissident sources of information – all in the name of “democracy” – a potentially greater danger is that mainstream U.S. news outlets are already teaming up with technology companies, such as Google and Facebook, to impose their own determinations about “truth” on the Internet.

Or, as Ignatius puts it in his column reflecting Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy Stengel’s thinking, “The best hope may be the global companies that have created the social-media platforms.

“‘They see this information war as an existential threat,’ says Stengel. … The real challenge for global tech giants is to restore the currency of truth. Perhaps ‘machine learning‘ [presumably a reference to algorithms] can identify falsehoods and expose every argument that uses them. Perhaps someday, a human-machine process will create what Stengel describes as a ‘global ombudsman for information.’”

Ministry of Truth

An organization of some 30 mainstream media companies already exists, including not only The Washington Post and The New York Times but also the Atlantic Council-connected Bellingcat, as the emerging arbiters – or ombudsmen – for truth, something Orwell described less flatteringly as a “Ministry of Truth.”

Big Brother poster illustrating George Orwell's novel about modern propaganda, 1984.Big Brother poster illustrating George Orwell's novel about modern propaganda, 1984.

Big Brother poster illustrating George Orwell’s novel about modern propaganda, 1984.

The New York Times has even editorialized in support of Internet censorship, using the hysteria over “fake news” to justify the marginalization or disappearance of dissident news sites.

It now appears that this 1984-ish “MiniTrue” will especially target journalistic skepticism when applied to U.S. government and mainstream media “group thinks.”

Yet, in my four decades-plus in professional journalism, I always understood that skepticism was a universal journalistic principle, one that should be applied in all cases, whether a Republican or a Democrat is in the White House or whether some foreign leader is popular or demonized.

As we have seen in recent years, failure to ask tough questions and to challenge dubious claims from government officials and mainstream media outlets can get lots of people killed, both U.S. soldiers and citizens of countries invaded or destabilized by outsiders.

To show skepticism is not the threat to democracy that Undersecretary Stengel and columnist Ignatius appear to think it is.

Whether you like or dislike RT’s broadcasts – or more likely have never seen one – a journalist really can’t question its slogan: “question more.” Questioning is the essence of journalism and, for that matter, democracy.

[In protest of the Post’s smearing of independent journalists, RootsAction has undertaken a petition drive, which can be found here.]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

Trump and the Neocon Playbook–Trump Is the Reincarnation of Reagan

[President-elect “ReaganTrump” follows Heritage Foundation advisor’s advice and makes phone call to Taiwan as a veiled threat to upset the US/CHINA policy.]

China lodges ‘solemn representations’ with US

Boston Globe

This file photo taken on November 10 showed a man buying a newspaper featuring a photo of US President-elect Donald Trump.

GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images

This file photo taken on November 10 showed a man buying a newspaper featuring a photo of US President-elect Donald Trump.

BEIJING (AP) — The Latest on President-elect Donald Trump’s phone conversation with Taiwan’s leader (all times local):

5:45 p.m.

The Chinese foreign ministry says Beijing has lodged ‘‘solemn representations’’ with the U.S. over the call between President-elect Donald Trump and Taiwan’s leader.

Geng Shuang, a ministry spokesman, said in a statement Saturday that ‘‘It must be pointed out that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inseparable part of Chinese territory. The government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing China.’’

Geng said, ‘‘This is a fact that is generally recognized by the international community.’’

The statement did not describe the details of China’s complaint to the U.S., or say with whom it was lodged.

It said China urged the relevant side — implying Trump’s incoming administration — to handle Taiwan-related issues ‘‘cautiously and properly,’’ to avoid ‘‘unnecessary interference’’ in the China-U.S. relationship.

___

5:15 p.m.

Taiwan’s official Central News Agency says the former president of a conservative American think tank played a ‘‘crucial’’ role that led to the call between President-elect Donald Trump and Taiwan’s leader.

The news agency said Saturday, citing anonymous sources, that Edwin Feulner, founder of the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, was a ‘‘crucial figure’’ in setting up communication channels between the sides.

Feulner led a delegation from the Heritage Foundation on a trip to Taiwan in October and met with Tsai, according to a release at the time from Taiwan’s presidential office.

That release says Tsai called Feulner a ‘‘long-time friend to Taiwan’’ and conveyed her gratitude to his foundation for its support.

___

2 p.m.

One of China’s best-known international relations scholars says President-elect Donald Trump’s call with Taiwan’s leader will not help ease Beijing’s concerns about U.S. policy toward China under the incoming administration.

Shi Yinhong of Renmin University in Beijing said Saturday that China will respond discreetly and with restraint because it wants stable relations with the U.S., but that officials are increasingly worried.

Shi says: ‘‘In the mind of Chinese leaders, concerns are mounting over about U.S. policy toward China’’ under Trump’s administration. He says Taiwan is the most sensitive and important issue in U.S.-China relations.

He says Trump’s call may help Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen ‘‘convince people in Taiwan that the island can establish good relations with the U.S. and encourage her to continue to resist pressure from Beijing.’’

___

12:10 p.m.

China’s foreign minister says he hopes Beijing’s relations with the U.S. won’t be ‘‘interfered with or damaged’’ after President-elect Donald Trump broke with decades-long diplomatic tradition and spoke directly with Taiwan’s leader.

Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV reports that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday the call between Taiwan’s president and Trump was ‘‘just a small trick by Taiwan.’’ He said he thought it would not change longstanding U.S. policy toward China.

Wang says the so-called ‘‘one-China policy’’ is the cornerstone of U.S.-China relations and that Beijing hoped that foundation would not be ‘‘interfered with or damaged.’’

It is highly unusual, probably unprecedented, for a U.S. president or president-elect to speak directly with a leader of Taiwan, a self-governing island the U.S. broke diplomatic ties with in 1979.

5:15 p.m.

Taiwan’s official Central News Agency says the former president of a conservative American think tank played a ‘‘crucial’’ role that led to the call between President-elect Donald Trump and Taiwan’s leader.

The news agency said Saturday, citing anonymous sources, that Edwin Feulner, founder of the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, was a ‘‘crucial figure’’ in setting up communication channels between the sides.

Feulner led a delegation from the Heritage Foundation on a trip to Taiwan in October and met with Tsai, according to a release at the time from Taiwan’s presidential office.

That release says Tsai called Feulner a ‘‘long-time friend to Taiwan’’ and conveyed her gratitude to his foundation for its support.

___

2 p.m.

One of China’s best-known international relations scholars says President-elect Donald Trump’s call with Taiwan’s leader will not help ease Beijing’s concerns about U.S. policy toward China under the incoming administration.

Shi Yinhong of Renmin University in Beijing said Saturday that China will respond discreetly and with restraint because it wants stable relations with the U.S., but that officials are increasingly worried.

Shi says: ‘‘In the mind of Chinese leaders, concerns are mounting over about U.S. policy toward China’’ under Trump’s administration. He says Taiwan is the most sensitive and important issue in U.S.-China relations.

He says Trump’s call may help Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen ‘‘convince people in Taiwan that the island can establish good relations with the U.S. and encourage her to continue to resist pressure from Beijing.’’

___

12:10 p.m.

China’s foreign minister says he hopes Beijing’s relations with the U.S. won’t be ‘‘interfered with or damaged’’ after President-elect Donald Trump broke with decades-long diplomatic tradition and spoke directly with Taiwan’s leader.

Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV reports that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday the call between Taiwan’s president and Trump was ‘‘just a small trick by Taiwan.’’ He said he thought it would not change longstanding U.S. policy toward China.

Wang says the so-called ‘‘one-China policy’’ is the cornerstone of U.S.-China relations and that Beijing hoped that foundation would not be ‘‘interfered with or damaged.’’

It is highly unusual, probably unprecedented, for a U.S. president or president-elect to speak directly with a leader of Taiwan, a self-governing island the U.S. broke diplomatic ties with in 1979.

12:10 p.m.

China’s foreign minister says he hopes Beijing’s relations with the U.S. won’t be ‘‘interfered with or damaged’’ after President-elect Donald Trump broke with decadeslong diplomatic tradition and spoke directly with Taiwan’s leader.

Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV reports that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday the call between Taiwan’s president and Trump was ‘‘just a small trick by Taiwan.’’ He said he thought it would not change longstanding U.S. policy toward China.

Wang says the so-called ‘‘one-China policy’’ is the cornerstone of U.S.-China relations and that Beijing hoped that foundation would not be ‘‘interfered with or damaged.’’

It is highly unusual, probably unprecedented, for a U.S. president or president-elect to speak directly with a leader of Taiwan, a self-governing island the U.S. broke diplomatic ties with in 1979.

Erdogan Backtracks On Threats To Assad, Operation In Syria Now Only Targets Terror

[SEE: Erdogan Finally Admits That He Entered Syria “to end the rule of tyrant al-Assad”]

Operation in Syria only targets terror, Erdoğan clarifies

hurriyet

ANKARA

Turkey’s military operation in Syria is not against any country or person but terror groups in general, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, in contrast to earlier remarks that Turkey’s objective was to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad following.

“The aim of the Euphrates Shield Operation is no country or person but only terror organizations. No one should doubt this issue that we have uttered over and over, and no one should comment on it in another fashion or try to [misrepresent its meaning],” Erdoğan said at a 30th gathering with village chiefs at the Presidential Palace in Ankara on Dec. 1.

On Nov. 29, Erdoğan sought to explain the reason for Ankara’s military offensive into Syria, saying: “We entered there to end the rule of the tyrant al-Assad who terrorizes with state terror. [We didn’t enter] for any other reason.”

Erdoğan referred to the ongoing Euphrates Shield Operation that was launched on Aug. 24, after Ankara and Moscow began new dialogue over the course of developments in Syria. Turkey said its aim was to secure the border from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and to stop People’s Protection Unit (YPG) efforts to link its cantons in northern Syria.

Erdoğan’s remarks on Nov. 29 created unease in Moscow, as senior officials publicly criticized the Turkish government and expressed their demand for an explanation. The issue was also raised by Vladimir Putin, who talked to Erdoğan on the phone on Nov. 30 while the latter was chairing a National Security Council (MGK) meeting.

The two presidents discussed recent developments in Syria, particularly in Aleppo, the Kremlin and Turkish Presidency said in separate statements late Nov. 30. Earlier in the day, however, Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said Erdoğan’s remarks had come as a surprise to Moscow and that they expected an explanation from Ankara.

“It is a very serious statement and one which differs from previous ones and with our understanding of the situation. We hope that our Turkish partners will provide us with some kind of explanation about this,” he said.

Erdoğan’s statement on the real intentions of the Turkish military came a day after these developments and as Turkish and Russian foreign ministers were holding a meeting in Antalya’s Alanya district.

Erdoğan directs criticisms at West

Erdoğan reiterated once again that Turkey had no eye on the soil of other countries, especially in Iraq and Syria, claiming that Western countries were disturbed because of Ankara’s regional policies. “They never care about the future of Syria, Iraq or Libya. Do they have oil? If yes, they are there,” he said.

Underlining that Turkey’s sole objective was to fight terror organization as neither Iraq nor Syria can deal with such groups, Erdoğan stated: “Turkey will continue its struggle against terror organizations even if it is completely abandoned. We are facing very serious obstacles stemming from Western countries. Some companies in Europe declare that they won’t sell military equipment to Turkey.”

%d bloggers like this: